TVAN reviews please

Submitted: Sunday, Jun 22, 2014 at 17:24
ThreadID: 108448 Views:7910 Replies:8 FollowUps:1
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I am looking at a TVAN and would like some reviews thanks.

As there is only 2 smallish air vents in the cabin area, does it remain too hot for sleeping up north when the day time temp is over 30?

Is there enough room in the sleeping area for getting in and out of bed?

As the one I am looking at doesn't have a storage box on the front, does this create too much of a storage problem?

Please add any reviews about the TVAN, not just about the ones listed above.

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Reply By: Richard and jem - Sunday, Jun 22, 2014 at 17:33

Sunday, Jun 22, 2014 at 17:33
Gday wato35
look up the track trailer forum heaps of imfo on ther.
AnswerID: 534800

Reply By: Steve - Sunday, Jun 22, 2014 at 17:40

Sunday, Jun 22, 2014 at 17:40
A lot depends on what you have previously had. If you have had a caravan you would find the storage pretty poor but if you are used to low storage, you probably won't think it so bad. We had a long hard look at TVans and if it was up to me, I might've taken the plunge but the bride felt it a bit claustrophobic and didn't like the lack of storage. I liked the go-anywhere and lightweight aspect and both our views were from a caravanner's perspective.
AnswerID: 534801

Reply By: Idler Chris - Sunday, Jun 22, 2014 at 17:51

Sunday, Jun 22, 2014 at 17:51
Hire one for a trip and see how you like it. Some people love them, some don't. To each his own.
What other people think of me is none of my business.
Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.

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AnswerID: 534803

Reply By: Ross M - Sunday, Jun 22, 2014 at 18:35

Sunday, Jun 22, 2014 at 18:35
I have a 05 Tavn, hasn't had as much use as I would like. You have to accept nothing is perfect and many things are a compromise with different vehicles.
As far as off road, no problems.
Storage isn't as big as a van but then what are you going to use it all for.
Vehicle economy is not substantially affected.
Under bed is a reasonable amount of storage and although they show plastic bins x 6, I have made 3 full length ply drawers with lids which utilize the space better. Other gear is carried in the canopy of vehicle/wagon.

At rear of bed you can also have a portable box for anything you use often. Just goes on floor at rear when using interior.
Depending of fuel jerries required you can use specifically made containers or boxes to fit in the sides or the front 3 spots for additional gear.

There is a locker on the RHS (varies in size with model/features)

I fitted a 60 litre car fuel tank forward of the axle and it can be used for fuel used while towing. Has internal electric pump, diesel to vehicle filler neck through a diesel fuel filter for water and gunk reasons.

When the vents are open and the rear has the mesh or the canvas extended there is air flow though and up. 12v fans ie , for 4wd use or large computer fan can be used to aid flow when really hot and provide cooling to the skin. You won't have your woolies on anyway.
In cold weather it is quite cosy inside.
Sleeping, we get in head first and sleep with feet to back. I slightly extended the end section and use a queen full size mattress.

If an earlier model they came with a short and long drawbar/A frame, longer ones clear rear doors on Prado/Pajero and have less ball weight applied to the ball for the same loading. I would prefer a longer one for that reason. All new are the longer, I believe.
I relocated battery to the rear , now see new Tvan has also.
Set up time is quick and if raining the hatch is released and the rest done largely under cover.

Solar panel and charger will assist the onboard battery if fridge is also used in the Tvan.
Camp chairs and table are carried on the bed and easy to access when required.

Rear deck when down but not fully out has an aluminium plate section to stand on, Nowhere near wide enough. I asked for it without and made my own wider one.

Dust, Only dust which got in came in through faulty manufacture of side panel meets floor rear of bed and was rectified.
AnswerID: 534807

Follow Up By: wholehog - Sunday, Jun 22, 2014 at 19:26

Sunday, Jun 22, 2014 at 19:26
Well said Ross.

They breathe and ventilate well...unless you hop in and shut the door, then they are very snug in winter.

I have a set of slide drawers from a Landcruiser under our bed, storage is good, and what ever else you may store in your 4wd. Its not exactly a caravan.

Bed is Queen length inner spring pillow top. You do get to sleep uner a hard top, not canvas. If it is raining, the canvas rear does not fold onto your bedding.

For 2 people wanting to get out into and through the boonies, they are a great camper.
FollowupID: 818568

Reply By: pling - Sunday, Jun 22, 2014 at 22:46

Sunday, Jun 22, 2014 at 22:46
I have just purchased one and had all the same fears that you and your wife are having.

All our fears have gone after a week away in high temperatures, the boss loves it.

We never used the fan and we were sleeping head to front and never touched the roof sitting up.

After tenting it for 45 years I should have purchased one years ago.

The second time we set up camp it took 7 minutes.

Hope that helps.
AnswerID: 534827

Reply By: Steve - Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 14:02

Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 14:02
Don't know what state the OP is in but Idler's idea is a good 'un. Just remembered, there's hire available in every state through this network:
AnswerID: 534864

Reply By: Malcolm 02 - Tuesday, Jun 24, 2014 at 00:19

Tuesday, Jun 24, 2014 at 00:19
We bought our Tvan in 2008 and have travelled over 30 000 K's with it, Kimberly's, gulf country, Central Australia via the Flinders and Oodnadata and heaps of other places.
With the two of us storage was no problem but with a family it may be. The fridge is kept in the car and runs off a second battery.
My wife is a long term diabetic and has balance problems but she still manages to get in and out of the bed OK. We used to sleep with our heads to the front but we then up graded to a thicker innerspring Queen size mattress and now sleep with our heads towards the back. Fans are a good idea up north when temp starts to climb, we had a couple of 40 deg. days while in the Gregory NP in the NT without fans but still coped.
Where ever you go you will be limited by the vehicle you are towing the van with, not by the Tvan.
We have had a few wet periods while traveling and the fact that the tent packs up into the back door keeps every thing else nice and dry.
They may be more expensive than other campers but they are well built and the quality and design shines through.
The only way to be sure is, as already said, hire one for a weekend and try it to see if it fits your requirements.

AnswerID: 534898

Reply By: Anne S4 - Tuesday, Jun 24, 2014 at 20:43

Tuesday, Jun 24, 2014 at 20:43
We hired a Tvan in 2006, loved it and dreamed about owning one since.
We have had our Tvan for 2 years now. I love it and can't think of any cons.
We took it across the Simpson desert and up the Hay River Track last year, no worries.
Storage is plenty for us with a few bits carried in the Prado.
We have been camping in the heat, we have a fan and sleeping wasn't a problem. We have been camping in -5 winter weather and were so cosy inside.
I love been able to set up and pack up in no time at all. We keep it all packed and ready to go,so we are able to get away at short notice.
Our Tvan tows effortlessly behind us as we travel the roads. We choose the Tvan as it goes anywhere we want to go off road.
AnswerID: 534955

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